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March 8th, 2014

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Outdoor Fireplace, Fire Pits & New Fire Table Design-Bergen County NJ

September 30th, 2013

Outdoor fireplaces & fire pits have been common fire structures in the landscape. New custom fire table is a unique version of the fire feature. Bergen County NJ

Fire Table

Fire is truly enthralling by nature, and when safely implemented into your landscape can be a dramatic feature that enhances your outdoor living area.  Outdoor fireplaces and firepits have been the most common structures to create fire as a permanent, beautiful, and safe part of your landscape.  Fireplaces can be built lavishly decorated with inlays and corbels, or they can be designed to exude a more rugged and natural look.  Firepits as well can range from being extraordinarily elaborate, to resembling survivor style firepits; it is all dictated by the style and desire of the homeowner. Our “Volcanic Firepits” as well have been extremely popular in the last few years.

Homeowners are always looking for new styles and designs of fire features, and sometimes a traditional firepit or fireplace just doesn’t seem to exactly match up with the homeowner’s expectations.  This is why we recently designed a completely unique adaptation—a custom fire table. This marvelous coffee table is made of stone and seems to resemble any ordinary luxury coffee table; except for the warm flickering flames that erupt from the center.

The specific style of the fire table, is, once again, completely designed to the homeowner’s taste.  A homeowner can choose from a variety of stones and finishes, which can be molded to any size or shape. Then, choosing a specific top profile and carvings for the legs will put your own unique trademark on the piece.  The flame is maintained by a gas burner that is fully concealed within the structure, and the flames can be further enhanced with a decorative crushed gas.

With an customized piece such as the fire table, as well as with all fire features, it is vital that the feature is designed, planned, and installed by experienced professionals. Due to the complexity of the building materials, such as the intricate stone patterns and borders, experience is essential in incorporating this fire feature on to your landscape in a safe and efficient manner.

Bergen County NJ- The Best Backyard Design Starts With a Swimming Pool

September 18th, 2013

 

Design to get the most out of your backyard! Great Swimming Pools, Cabanas, Outdoor Kitchens, Fire Features & More! By 2013 Top 50 Pool Builder/Bergen County-NJ

 

Is your backyard boring and monotonous? It doesn’t have to be, and steps can be taken to transform it into a luxurious backyard oasis, regardless of the size of your property or the complexity of your landscape. This seemingly daunting task can be accomplished using a variety of options, some of which are discussed below.

For example, your backyard can be completely revolutionized by putting a custom swimming pool garnished in iridescent glass tiles mosaics that shimmer in the sunlight.  Glass tiles are what often elicit that mouth dropping sensation of astonishment, and exude a wide array of exuberant colors that when installed by an experienced professional, will greatly enhance its surroundings as well.

A custom cabana can further add an entirely new level of luxury to your pool area by offering an area for shelter, or by giving you the option to remain poolside without being under the searing glare of the sun.  A Cabana that features a bathroom and shower also helps to keep wet feet out of your house!

The entertaining area around your pool is vital. Choosing the right patio stone is critical for comfort and longevity, and we strongly suggest avoiding bluestone due to the fact that it gets quite hot in the summer sun and requires a tremendous amount of long-term maintenance.  In stark contrast, dolomitic limestone is cool to the touch and requires very little maintenance

A custom built outdoor kitchen assembled with stainless steel appliances and elaborate stone finishes, allows you to fix dinner or a quick snack, yet still relish the fresh air, and remain poolside with your friends and family. Our favorite “must have” for the outdoor kitchen is the warming draw. It keeps food warm and those towels toasty on cooler summer evenings.

Your “at home” vacation oasis doesn’t have to end when the sun goes down either; LED lights can illuminate your pool and landscape in a variety of brilliant colors, and custom fire features can provide a natural source of warmth and light, so your  backyard entertaining can continue, well into the night.

With all of these luxury features and more, it is imperative that they are designed and constructed by experienced professionals who will ensure that you and your family can continue to enjoy them, hassle free, for years and generations to come.

For more information visit www.plantnj.com or call 201-785-0800

Swimming Pool Waterfall Design–NJ Waterfall Safety Ideas

April 1st, 2013

Swimming Pool Waterfall Design–NJ Waterfall Safety Ideas

At Cipriano, we strive for safe swimming pool waterfall design. Our swimming pool designs safely integrate luxurious materials and exciting features.

When it comes to swimming pools, you will often hear people say, including us, “Safety first!” Even the most beautiful, relaxing, and luxurious inground pools will fall short if they fail to address safety for you, your family, and your friends. Even when we get into the amazing features available for luxury pool designs, what good will they be if they put your loved ones in danger? At Cipriano, we strive for complete pool safety in many ways. For us, this means we focus on safe pool designs even when they include extravagant materials and exciting features. To give you an idea, let’s take a look at swimming pool waterfalls and how we can start to ensure waterfall safety in the back yard.

Safety starts with the pool design. If you have children or grandchildren, or if overall safety is a priority for you, you will want to consult with an experienced Certified Building Professional (CBP) from the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals. If you will have a lot of kids swimming in the pool, you want to design a safe waterfall structure. The primary goal of swimming pool waterfall safety is to create a structure that is not excessive or easily accessible to children. Here are some basic tips to consider:

1. When having a waterfall built, I wouldn’t suggest going terribly high unless you step it back gradually to reduce the sheer vertical height. You typically don’t want a 12-foot sheer waterfall cliff, unless you have a very deep pool and don’t have too many children running around the backyard landscape.

2. I suggest you avoid putting the spa on top of an extremely high waterfall. The children will want to go to the top of the waterfall to use the spa; this could create some safety concerns. The children could fall, or they will eventually choose to jump off of a waterfall rock or climb down into the swimming pool.

3. I also suggest that the waterfall have dense plantings. Not only do the plantings make the swimming pool waterfalls look more natural but they also keep the rocks from looking like a good place to climb and potentially get injured.

4. To prevent slippery conditions on the waterfalls, we suggest recirculating the waterfalls into the swimming several times every day in order to prevent algae buildup. If you have ever been to a lake or beach, you probably know that algae can cause rocks to become very slippery. The same goes for your pool, and this recirculation technique creates safer waterfall rocks in case anyone decides to climb on them.

5. We also suggest installing “No Diving” tiles cut into waterfalls. To further prevent children or guests from making their own adventurous diving areas around the swimming pool waterfalls, you may include a dive rock as a safe alternative.

These are just a few pool design ideas and techniques that we suggest to make swimming pool waterfalls safer for you and your family.  If you have any other concerns about luxury pool features and how they can be safely included in your new pool design, please contact us. We have designed and installed many complex inground pools, and we always keep safety at the forefront of our minds.

Great NJ Swimming Pool Plans–Complete Plans Save Time & Money

March 27th, 2013

Great NJ Swimming Pool Plans – Complete Plans Save Time & Money

How To Save 40K on Your Pool Construction Project NJ- Swimming Pool Plans and Design Benefits from NJ Pool Design & Construction Firm Cipriano Landscape Design

A beautiful sketch drawn by a landscape designer can make your new pool look very attractive, but do you really want move forward with the project without a good set of swimming pool plans? What value do complete swimming pool plans have for your inground pool project? These questions are very pertinent as you approach your new pool project or pool renovation. Complete swimming pool plans should not be underestimated. In this blog, I will try to explain how pool plans can play a crucial role in almost every aspect of your new swimming pool.

When you get a sketch, will it include setbacks and infrastructure layouts such as drainage tanks or a septic system? What else is missing? Is the sketch within impervious coverage limitations? How about the required drainage details for the approvals? Without a good set of plans, it becomes very unclear what you are paying for and what in fact you will receive from a given pool builder. A sketch or generic set of plans will leave you with a lot of grey areas that will expose you to extras. In fact, a contractor may use these openings to cut corners or add a lot of extras in the end. These inadequate pool plans generally cost 10 to 20% more in construction costs due to unforeseen challenges and expenses. On a $200,000 project that can be up to $40,000!

A good set of plans includes everything you need to get a complete price and permits, including dimensions of all the structures, structural details for permitting, top and bottom wall elevations, quantity of steps, drainage layout and details, plant layout and schedule. This takes time and will cost you more upfront for the plans, but you will be happy at the end of the project when you don’t have thousands of dollars in unforeseen extras.  The detailed plans force pool builders to be very specific when they tell you how much it will cost to build the pool precisely according to plans. If a pool company can give a price for construction without providing a detailed design, chances are, the final cost will be a lot higher than expected.

In essence, there is an element of clarity, comfort, safety, and cost-effectiveness to investing in a great set of pool plans. Great pool designs let you know what you will be getting from a pool builder before ground is broken on the pool. You will also know what you are getting and for how much you will get it. Once you have a good set of pool plans, you can receive accurate quotes for pool construction. You will also have a cost range at which you can build that pool design, depending upon the materials you choose for finishes, coping, patios, etc.

Creative Retaining Walls NJ–Design Ideas for Sloped Yards

March 22nd, 2013

Creative Retaining Walls NJ–Design Ideas for Sloped Yards

Do you have a steeply sloped yard that has failed to meet your landscaping and outdoor living expectations?

Do you have a steeply sloped yard that has failed to meet your landscaping and outdoor living expectations? Are you curious as to how you might improve your sloped backyard landscape design? With a good design that utilizes retaining walls effectively, you can reach all of your landscaping or swimming pool goals regardless of any steep slopes and awkward spaces.

Retaining walls, retain, or hold back, portions of the yard to make usable spaces out of sloping properties. Instead of feeling confined to one area of the yard, you can use retaining walls to create tiers and terraces for multiple functional areas and added appeal. For pool designs, waterfalls can act as a retaining wall that looks natural and becomes the focal point of an entire sloped yard. This is just one unique example of creative ways to retain earth. Before you set out to retain any slopes in your yard, you will want to hear a few tips about the proper use of retaining walls.

Depending upon the style of the landscape design, retaining walls can achieve a number of different looks. Sometimes you will see big boulders retaining slopes that look more like natural cliffs. These are called rockeries; they can have plants growing up and down them to preserve the natural look. Rockeries are quite often used in waterfall designs to extend the natural look away from the swimming pool. Other retaining walls may be more sophisticated with natural stone veneer and caps. These walls function nicely around formal or modern living spaces. For modern retaining walls, you can be much more adventurous in terms of material, incorporating anything from chic glass tile to more raw or industrial materials like wood and steel. In a small, sloped yard, we once incorporated a glass tile water wall to retain the slope and transition from the spa to the pool.

One tip for retaining walls is to use cheaper materials in places with very little visual impact. For instance, if you retain a slope going down away from the house, the retaining wall will be unseen for most of the time and will have very little visual importance, though functionally it may be paramount. The wise choice, in these scenarios, might be to use natural boulders or precast wall block rather than laboriously build expensive natural stone veneered walls.

In general, retaining walls can be natural, modern, or traditional depending on the style of the landscaping or swimming pool design. The walls may vary greatly in terms of material, style, and cost, but they can all create a more functional backyard space in a sloped yard. If you have any questions about landscaping ideas for sloped yard, please give us a call.

Rain Gardens NJ-Creative Rain Garden Design for Small Yards

March 19th, 2013

Rain Gardens NJ-Creative Rain Garden Design for Small Yards

Rain Gardens NJ-Creative Rain Garden Design Ideas for Traditional, Modern & Natural Small Yards from NJ Landscaping Expert Cipriano Landscape Design

A rain garden is a shallow depression that utilizes plants and soils to filter and clean storm water runoff before it enters the ground. Rain gardens are extremely valuable in reducing your property’s environmental impact. In some instances, the utilization of a rain garden may allow you to develop larger areas of the property for features such as swimming pools or patios. Whatever the reason behind your rain garden, you will be happy to know that the unique landscape feature can be designed even for the smallest of spaces. Let’s take a very brief look at how you might incorporate a rain garden design for small yards.

How do we accomplish a successful rain garden design while keeping aesthetics and space in mind within the small backyard area? Fortunately, rain gardens, despite being a very specific type of garden design, have plenty of versatility when it comes to style, shape, and materials. The rain garden can be any shape as long as it is able to hold the required volume of water. In a long, narrow area, for example, you can disguise the rain garden as a dry riverbed with a natural style. For a modern look, you can line the depression with a formal wood or metal border; you might then plant your rain garden plants in the center of the depression. I would pick out tall slender grasses. In a small, symmetrical space, you can create the depression and use a statue, planter, or small pedestal as a centerpiece. Rain garden plants can surround the centerpiece for a nice design.

Overall, these basic ideas can be used for inspiration as your approach a rain garden design for your small yard. Be creative with the small, specific space and try to incorporate it into the rest of the landscape design. Remember to use appropriate plants for a rain garden, which start with hardy, native plants of your area. With appropriate plant materials and unique landscaping ideas, you can accomplish your sustainability goals in style. If you have any questions about rain garden design, please contact us. Also, feel free to take a look at an old blog we wrote about a Mahwah, NJ rain garden.

 

Most Popular NJ Pool Features: Sun Shelf & Colored LED Lights

March 14th, 2013

Most Popular NJ Pool Features: Sun Shelf & Colored LED Lights

See the Two Most Popular Swimming Pool Options from NJ Inground Swimming Pool Contractor Cipriano Landscape Design: The Sun Shelf & Colored LED Pool Lighting

From massive waterfalls to fiber optic star lights to “dive-in movie theaters,” the options are limitless for custom, luxury swimming pools. As a NJ pool builder, I am often asked, “What is the most popular swimming pool option?” Cipriano Landscape Design’s years of experience have provided a lot of insight in the pool options most requested for NY and NJ pool designs. In no particular order, here are my choices for the two most popular swimming pool options!

1. Sun Shelf

The sun shelf is one of the two most popular swimming pool features. Sun shelves are basically a massive step or landing beneath the surface of the water. They can really be any shape or size, depending on your pool design. In general, they range from 3 inches to 12 inches deep. On the sun shelf, you can tan comfortably as if you’re on the shores of a beach, slightly submerged in water to stay cool while soaking up the sun at the same time. Similarly, you can take a chaise lounge and place it on the sun shelf. For times when the sun is too hot, we’ve incorporated an umbrella into the sun shelf. The sun shelf feature is most popular for moms with young ones; children will frolic around on the sun shelf as parents lounge comfortably in the water or on a chair beside them. The sun shelf is also the most popular spot for teenagers to “hang out.”

2. Colored LED Pool Lighting

Color LED pool lighting has taken the pool industry by storm. The cool feature brings enjoyment and excitement to inground pools by illuminating them in a wide range of colors at night. Today’s homeowners want to be able to enjoy their swimming pool at night, even if only for aesthetics. Color LED lights create a 24-hour swimming pool and back yard. With the lights on, you can completely set the mood for the yard and produce a functional outdoor living area that is safe to use after sundown. You can really impress guests with custom lighting displays that are programmed or remote controlled. In addition to its function, safety, and style, colored LED pool lighting is also quite efficient, providing the most cost-effective lighting option within the pool. Other lighting options, which are less common but even more spectacular, include fiber optic starlights, fiber optic deck jets, and fiber optic rope lighting.

If you would like to include these options in your pool design, look for a pool design company with the most experience incorporating these popular features into the design. These companies will be familiar with how many lights are necessary to illuminate a massive pool or simply where to include a sun shelf to make the most of the pool and landscape design. If you have any questions about these two popular pool options or if you’d like to hear about some of the most exciting pool features available for 2013, do not hesitate to give us a call.

Patio Lighting Design Ideas NJ–Cipriano Landscape Design

March 12th, 2013

Patio Lighting Design Ideas NJ–Cipriano Landscape Design

Our patio lighting design ideas feature various techniques that bring safety, functionality, and ambiance to various patio and walkway areas.

When designing outdoor living patios, our goal is to provide more than just a suitable surface for cooking, dining, walking, and lounging. We want to make the most out of these essential patio areas; incorporating a well-designed lighting plan is essential to reaching that goal. Now the question arises, “How do I properly light my patios?” In this blog, I would like to share a bit about how we strive for the best possible patio lighting. At Cipriano, we use various techniques that bring safety, functionality, and ambiance to the outdoor living space.

With our patio lighting design ideas, we take a rather minimalist approach to patio and landscape lighting. Our techniques tend to accentuate the surroundings with simple, yet elegant lighting fixtures. Discreetly down-lighting a masonry structure, for example, will showcase the depth of the stone and illuminate the patio without highlighting the lighting fixture itself. This approach can be implemented by countersinking light fixtures in the walls, wall caps, steps, and so on. To give you another example, lighting under countertops in an outdoor kitchen will illuminate the base of the structure and the surrounding patio for a nice, soft, safe touch.

Proper lighting designs may focus on distinguishing various scenes. If the path lights on the patio and landscape lighting are all grouped together, then you lose the convenience of controlling primary and secondary lighting scenes. Big back yards can highlight multiple swimming pool, landscaping, and patio scenes in distinct ways if done effectively.

For the typical yard, putting safety first and foremost, you might try to light main pathways and patio areas as your primary scene. Up-light focal points such as trees and architectural elements in the landscape, and down-light open areas or other feature elements of the landscape design as secondary scenes to achieve the right sort of balance and functionality. Now with the convenience of LED lighting, you can put more lights and multiple scenes on one transformer; the key is to take advantage of that without over-lighting or creating hotspots. More soft lights are much more desirable than giant floodlights next to the patio.

I hope these tips and techniques may be helpful to you as you look for proper patio lighting designs to fit your outdoor living space and style. Try to stay away from lighting the space too much. It may seem like a great way to make the patio functional, but it can be somewhat uncomfortable and blind guests who want to gaze out upon your pool landscaping. Try to find a balance with a minimalist approach to patio lighting design. By softly lighting structures and pathways, you will have a safe, functional area that allows your landscape architecture and masonry design to shine.

Large Backyard Ideas NJ – How To Design A Luxury Resort

March 7th, 2013

Large Backyard Ideas NJ–How To Create A Luxury Resort

Does your existing landscaping fail to make the most of your large backyard? We have some ideas that can transform your backyard into a luxury resort.–Plant NJ

Do you have a very big yard? Maybe you have decided that your existing landscape doesn’t make the most of your large property. Maybe you are having trouble engaging guests and balancing function and style across the massive backyard property. These are all very common concerns that homeowners have with respect to large backyard landscaping projects.

You may be thinking, “How could anyone complain about having too much space? I would love a bigger yard!” Having a huge back yard usually sounds like a blessing, but, believe it or not, there are some significant challenges with big backyard landscapes as well. One major concern for big yards is that they may look desolate and unwelcoming if they lack engaging destinations. Problems with slopes or flat, uninteresting properties can be compounded by the large property area. Any problems, or even the vast possibilities, with big back yards make for a challenging design and build process.

In order to make the most of large backyard landscaping, here are a few ideas I would suggest. Depending upon your outdoor living needs, try to diversify the landscape design and create various destinations. You can divide the large landscape into multiple destinations with different functions. For example, a large backyard might feature a flat, open grass play area for the kids, a swimming pool and patio area for swimming, an outdoor kitchen space for cooking and dining, and maybe even a separate outdoor living room for quiet relaxation. These varied spaces will engage everyone from children to adults in various ways.

In big yards, you might face the large challenge of a steep slope or, in the other extreme, a boring, flat yard. Creative solutions, usually in the form of terracing, can provide functional interest in both scenarios. Multiple terrace levels can ease a slope transition and create functional areas in the steep yard. Terraces might also create depth and interest across a flat, open landscape.

Whatever sort of large backyard ideas NJ you choose for your big backyard resort, remember to balance function and style. Everything may look good on paper, but it doesn’t always work for the end user experience, especially for large properties. It is important to consider space, foot traffic, and furniture layouts. For example, you might not want to put a dining area right in front of a staircase because the foot traffic could be disruptive and disjointed.  You might have the luxury of a lot of space, but knowing what to do with it is a different ballgame. Experienced landscape architects will best be able to tell you how to make these extensive designs as functional and user-friendly as possible.

Lastly, making the most of the big backyard resort involves using the yard at night. Effective lighting will play a crucial role in the value of your big backyard investment. When choosing features and functions for your large outdoor living space, always remember to put safety first. Inground pools, waterfalls, and fire pits are beautiful, but safety should always be the deciding factor when it comes to including and designing these luxury features.

To summarize, speak with your landscape design company and figure out what options make the most sense for your property, your family, and your lifestyle. From there, try to get a feel for how the landscaping ideas will come together; various destinations must be comfortable and distinct, while remaining functional for the overall outdoor living experience.

If you have any questions about how to achieve your big backyard resort goals, please contact us. We have experience with landscape design for properties up to 10-acres in size!